California – Los Angeles: Unicamp

Katherine Brosamle

Katie Brosamle, a UCLA Senior, is majoring in History and minoring in Geography and Environment Studies. She is very involved at UCLA as a Peer Learning Facilitator for the UCLA Athletics Peer Learning Lab, Executive Vice President of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and is a leader for UCLA UniCamp. Katie has spent time volunteering with UniCamp nearly all of the past academic year, but first became involved with UniCamp three years ago. She says she was “looking to work with an organization that benefited children in the local community and was impressed by UniCamp’s history on the campus.” In fact, UniCamp is the official student charity of UCLA and was first founded by UCLA students in 1934. For the past 80 years, UniCamp has sent children from low-income communities within Los Angeles to a student-run summer camp in the San Bernardino Mountains.

While the week of camp takes place over summer, volunteering with UniCamp really begins during Spring Quarter of each academic year. Throughout the quarter, volunteers attend weekly training meetings where they learn all about UniCamp, working with kids, important issues that the session will focus on, as well as getting to know each other! In the summer, each volunteer is a part of one of the seven week-long camp sessions. During that week of camp, volunteers either work as counselors, responsible for a group of kids, or specialists, running rotational activities including archery, mountain biking, or arts and crafts.  The week also includes camp-wide activities such as a talent show, hikes and campfires where student volunteers and campers get to know each other.  

When asked how this service experience has impacted her, Katie responded:

“UniCamp has really impacted my UCLA experience and taught me a lot.  As a volunteer, I’ve met so many amazing and unique students and children from different backgrounds and with different stories.  Yet despite all these differences, every year I have seen my session of camp come together and bond to become a family. UniCamp has really shown me the value of community.”

Katie loves UniCamp because it is impactful, meaningful, and lets her be a child again while having fun with the amazing kids and student volunteers.  A popular phrase within UniCamp is “sing songs, play games, change lives,” and it is so accurate.    

Getting involved with UniCamp is easy! Recruitment takes place during the middle of Winter Quarter (usually around 6th week).  Recruitment is when the organization holds information sessions and hangs out on Bruin Walk to answer questions about the organization and how to apply. To learn more, check out their website here!

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